Not looking to drop $799 for Sony’s HMZ-T1 head mounted display? I don’t blame you. That’s why this post is dedicated to exploring a few of the other mass market HMDs out there. The HMZ-T1 is definitely the highest performance consumer HMD to hit the market (with dual-3D, OLED HD, and virtual 5.1 surround), and while you won’t find a feature-for-feature match to the HMZ-T1, you may be willing to make some compromises if it means saving a few hundred bucks. So let’s have a look at some the options:
- Vuzix Wrap 1200VR ($599) – This is likely the next closest contender to Sony’s HMZ-T1. The Wrap 1200VR has dual 852 x 480 displays which create the sensation of looking at a 75″ screen from 10-feet away, according to the company. It uses standard LCD screens for each lens, so don’t expect the same color/contrast ratio performance of the HMZ-T1’s OLED displays. 3D is supported with this HMD and there are some earbuds for audio, but there’s no built-in virtual 5.1 processing. While the Wrap 1200VR doesn’t have OLED screens, it does have built-in head-tracking, which is something that the HMZ-T1 actually lacks. Head-tracking allows you to use the Wrap 1200VR for controlling various PC games — just be sure to check game compatibility before getting your wallet out!
- Vuzix Wrap 920 ($299) – If the Wrap 1200VR is still too steep for you, you can try stepping down to the Wrap 920. This is a very similar device to the one above except it uses lower resolution 640 x 480 displays and lacks head-tracking hardware. This connects via VGA.
- Vuzix Wrap 310XL ($199) – If you are still looking to cut the price down, you can opt for the Wrap 310XL which is nearly identical to the Wrap 920, except it uses even lower resolution 428 x 240 screens. I wouldn’t recommend this one for PC gaming as you’ll have a hard time finding games that will run at that resolution! Vuzix pegs this one as an HMD to be plugged into an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Connects via composite video.
- Others: VRealities.com has a great catalog of a number of HMDs that is worth checking out if you are looking to buy an HMD!